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7 Things to Know about a Home Inspection

When you’re looking to buy a home, there is a lot of advice out there.  Some great and some not so great.  One thing that you can count on that is good advice is to have an inspection done on the property.  So what does this mean and who will do it?

We sat down with Bob Rains, Owner of Rains Property Inspections, to get answers to the seven most common questions buyers ask about a home inspection, details on how they are done and, most importantly, what value they hold in their home purchase.

What is a Home Inspection? 
Well, a home inspection is generally defined as a limited, non-invasive examination condition of the home.  Usually this is done during the sale of a property and conducted by a licensed, trained, and Certified Home Inspector.  A written report will be delivered to the client to help them make final decisions about the property. The Home Inspection is a critical part of the home buying process.  Make no mistake, you need to know what you’re getting into.  The cost of repairs in today’s climate can be staggering.   So having a solid idea of the condition of the home is imperative to making an informed decision.  You don’t want to be buying a new roof after you have closed unless you are prepared to do so.

What items are being inspected? 
The home inspection will consist of a detailed evaluation of:  the roof and attic; the exterior portion of the home, the foundation and structure; the heating and air conditioning system: the plumbing systems; the electrical system; the garage and the interior including the kitchen.   Some Inspectors are qualified to inspect the Pool.   Your lender may ask you to have a WDO (wood destroying organisms) inspection performed. In the State of Florida a WDO will be performed by a licensed pest control company.   It is important to note that we are not code inspectors.  Our job is to find defects to the property that are in need of correction, state the age and condition of the main components and to make the buyer aware of any safety concerns.

What is Thermal Imaging? 
There is always a lot of questions about thermal imaging cameras and what are we seeing?  Simply put this is a technique in which a thermal camera is used to detect temperature variations.  A Home Inspector can use this to potentially see wet areas as in leaks in plumbing lines and missing insulation in the attic. There are applications with electrical abnormalities that may be useful to an inspector.  Typically, moisture issues would be validated with further evaluation such as using a moisture meter.  

What tools are used during an inspection? 
Along with the thermal imager and the moisture meter, a Home Inspector will use a variety of ladders, they may use a drone for tall and steeply sloped roofs.  A variety of electrical testing devices will be used.  The most important tool will be the Inspectors senses.  Eyes, ears and touch.  

What is a 4 Point Inspection and a Wind Mitigation Survey? 
The 4 Point Inspection is for the Insurance Company.  It documents the condition the HVAC, Roof, Plumbing, Electrical Systems and components.  This report is essentially to prove the insurability of the home.  The Wind Mitigation Survey describes what wind mitigating features the home has in place.  This report is designed to help you save money on your insurance rates by documenting items such as roof truss tie down brackets and impact windows and doors.  Typically, this will save you money.

When will the report be ready?  
Thankfully today inspectors have access to modern software designed to get the important information to the buyer quickly.  Say goodbye to handwritten reports that take days to complete.  Most professional inspectors today can typically put the report in your hands the day of the inspection.  These reports will include high resolution pictures and videos to describe what is seen in the home.

The main takeaway is that the home inspector hopes to educate you with their report and help you make the best decision for you on the property being inspected.  

Bob Rains
Owner of Rains Property Inspections

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